Congo slams US for political 'interference' in elections

AP News
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Posted: Jun 08, 2015 2:38 PM

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The Congolese government has slammed statements by a visiting U.S. official about the ongoing election dialogue as "unacceptable" and "intolerable" interference in the country's internal affairs.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Tom Malinowski, said during a visit last week that the president's electoral dialogue should not be used as an excuse to delay elections.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende said Monday that Malinowski was repeating the negative messages of the opposition.

President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, began the dialogue on June 1 but the largest opposition parties are refusing to participate.

In January, mass protests erupted against proposed changes to the electoral law, widely seen as a ploy to delay the 2016 presidential elections and to allow Kabila to prolong his time in power.

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This story has been corrected to show that the first name of the Congolese president is Joseph, not Laurent.